WBO Orders Joshua vs. Usyk
Anthony Joshua officially reclaimed the WBA, IBF, WBO and IBO heavyweight titles not even 90 minutes ago, and Joshua wants to focus on celebrating. But one sanctioning body isn’t wasting any time.
Per a report from the Daily Mail, the WBO has officially ordered that Joshua must make a title defense against its mandatory challenger, former undisputed cruiserweight champion Oleksandr Usyk.
The fight must take place before June 4. Should Joshua elect to not go through with facing Usyk, it’s almost certain that he will be stripped of the championship.
After unifying the cruiserweight division in 2018, Usyk made his heavyweight debut two months ago, finishing Chazz Witherspoon. As a result, Usyk earned heavyweight mandatory challenger status.
Joshua defeated Andy Ruiz Jr. in Saudi Arabia earlier today to gain back the unified heavyweight championship — six months after losing the belts to Ruiz in a huge upset.
Should Joshua not face Usyk and the belt is vacated, Usyk could defend Dereck Chisora or former WBO champion Joseph Parker for the belt.
Usyk is not the only mandatory challenger Joshua is expected to worry about. As it’s expected the IBF may soon make their own formal declaration that Joshua must defend against its own mandatory, Kubrat Pulev.
Original Story: Daily Mail